Del Mar College's Dental Hygiene Program offers free dental care - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Del Mar College's Dental Hygiene Program offers free dental care

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We know dental health care can be costly, especially for households with limited income. 

Del Mar College's Dental Hygiene Program is offering some ways to help the public. How about free dental services to the community?  If you Haven't had your teeth cleaned or x-rayed in a while, their no-cost dental program can help you. 

At first glance it's just like any other dentist's office. Take a closer look, and you'll see this is a classroom. 

Students come from all over the world to get experience from one of the top programs in the country. 

"Students just want to come here. They know they are going to get the best education, and this is not an easy program; it is very challenging. But at the end, it is worth it,"said Director of Dental Program Eva Sepulveda. 

"It is a honor to graduate from Del Mar, knowing that it is kind of hard to get in. Our pre-reqs are pretty extensive. We have to have good grades and maintain our grades throughout the whole program." said dental hygiene student Brenda Gonzales. 

While the community gets free dental care, students learn skills for a successful career. 

"It is a great experience, and our instructors are really good about walking us through everything, and answering all our questions. Real world experiences too, they teach us," said Gonzales. 

Patients who sit for a licensure exam for students may receive their initial treatment, including dental exam, professional cleaning, X-rays and flouride varnish at no cost. 

"Services we do not provide here are comprehensive examinations. That means we don't have a doctor that goes to each patient and does an exam. Also, we don't provide certain types of dental treatments, for example teeth extractions, or fillings," said Sepulveda. 

The Del Mar College Dental Hygienist Program was established in 1969. And they want to continue to help the community and their students. 

"We do not have any types of fees. In fact, we are the only dental hygiene program in Texas that does not charge any type of fees. All our services here are free. But, what we do ask of our community, our patients that come through here, is a commitment. A commitment they will be here for every appointment for our students," said Sepulveda. 

The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, and Monday through Thursday from 1-4pm.
The facility is located in Health Science Building 1 on Del Mar College's West Campus (4101 Old Brownsville Road). 

An online map is available here. Call 361-698-2854 to make an appointment or email dhclinic@delmar.edu. 

The Del Mar College Dental Hygiene clinic services:

  • Medical history review 
  • Radiographs (x-rays)
  • Blood pressure screening 
  • Fluoride treatments as needed 
  • Intra- oral examination 
  • Selective polishing
  • Dental preliminary assessment 
  • Conservative periodontal therapy 
  • Periodontal assessment    
  • Dental hygiene therapy
  • Education on oral dental hygiene
  • Dental sealants (a thin plastic coating on the teeth)
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Chewing surfaces of teeth (to help prevent decay) 

All procedures performed by students are under the supervision of instructors, and usually require more than one visit. 

Treatment does not include a dental examination to determine dental cavities or other dental problems. A licensed dentist should be seen at regular intervals. 

Students are required to fulfill a certain number of hours of instruction in the Dental Hygiene Clinic and missed or broken appointments could affect a student's ability to complete semester requirements. 

Patients are selected for treatment based on meeting the educational and clinical requirements of students.  

Final selection of patients will be made by Del Mar College. Application for treatment does not insure treatment. 

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